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QPR appoints Mark Hughes as manager

Updated: January 10, 2012, 08:46

FILE - This is a Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 file photo of the then Manchester City coach Mark Hughes as he speaks during a news conference in Santander, Spain. English Premier League soccer team Queens Park Rangers has hired Mark Hughes as its manager, replacing the fired Neil Warnock. The London club says it signed the former Manchester City and Fulham manager to a 2-year contract, and that Hughes will take charge of his first training session later Tuesday Jan. 10, 2012.(AP Photo/Juan Manuel Serrano)

LONDON(AP) Mark Hughes returned to management at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, with the task of keeping the London club in the Premier League.

The former Manchester City and Fulham manager has joined QPR on a 2 1/2-year contract, two days after Neil Warnock was fired with the team just a point and a place above the relegation zone.

"It's a great feeling to be back in football,'' Hughes said in a statement. "I'm fully aware of the challenge in the short and long term and I am genuinely excited about the ambition of the owners. ... Now the immediate priority is to consolidate our place in the (league).''

The former Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea striker was due to take charge of his first training session on Tuesday afternoon, with his first match at Newcastle on Sunday.

Chairman Tony Fernandes said the 48-year-old Hughes has a "proven track record'' both a club and international level as a coach.

"He has a great passion to achieve as a manager and has already been hugely successful in his career,'' said Fernandes, whose Tune Group bought QPR in August. "His ambitions match those of the board.''

Hughes began his coaching career with a five-year stint with Wales from 1999.

After four years at Blackburn, he took over at Manchester City in 2008 but was sacked in December 2009 despite the club being sixth in the Premier League, a casualty of the club's ambitious new owners from Abu Dhabi.

Hughes then took on the difficult task at Fulham of replacing Roy Hodgson.

After a slow start, Fulham climbed into the top half of the table, and earned Europa League qualification for a second time, but Hughes said the club did not match his ambitions when he quit in June.

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